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Freeland among Rockies to avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

DENVER - The Colorado Rockies avoided arbitration with left-hander Kyle Freeland and five other players Friday as the team tries to get back on track after missing the playoffs the past two seasons.

Freeland agreed to a one-year contract for $5,025,000 following a bounce-back season. He made a pro-rated $1,064,815 of a $2,875,000 salary in 2020. The Denver native tied for the major league lead in starts with 13. He went 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA and nine quality starts. Freeland had just five quality starts in 2019, when he went 3-11 with a 6.73 ERA.

Right-hander Jon Gray will make $6 million in 2021. Gray, a first-round pick in 2013, made eight starts and posted a 2-4 record with a 6.69 ERA before going on the injured list on Sept. 4 with right shoulder inflammation. The hard-throwing Gray was due to make $5,600,000 in 2020, and his prorated pay wound up at $2,074,074.

Colorado also avoided arbitration with reliever Carlos Estévez after the 28-year-old appeared in a team-high 26 games in 2020. Estévez made $400, 000 of his pro-rated $1,080,000 salary in 2020.

In addition, newly acquired right-hander Robert Stephenson agreed to a one-year deal worth $805,000. He was acquired by Colorado in a November trade with Cincinnati after throwing 10 innings last season with 9.90 ERA. Stephenson, who turns 28 on Feb. 24, has appeared in 104 game, making 22 starts, since his debut in 2016. He was due to make $592,000 in 2020. His pro-rated salary ended up at $219,259.

Infielder Ryan McMahon saw his salary increase to $2,375,000. The versatile McMahon made 28 starts at second, 10 at first and 10 more at third last season. He also made two appearances at shortstop. McMahon’s nine homers were the second-most for the Rockies. McMahon was scheduled to make $573,500 in 2020. His pro-rated salary was $212,407.

Outfielder Raimel Tapia was another who avoided arbitration after finishing in the top-10 in the NL with a .321 average last season. Tapia, who turns 27 on Feb. 4, had six games with at least three hits in 2020. Due to make $573,500 in ‘20, his pro-rated salary ended up being $212,407.

The Rockies had deals in place before Friday with right-handers Jairo Díaz, Antonio Senzatela, Daniel Bard and Mychal Givens, along with catcher Elias Díaz.
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